It was heartwarming to see school districts pay tribute to parent volunteers recently on National Parent Involvement Day (Nov. 15).

Here are a few examples:

  • The school district in Lawrence, Kan., hosted its annual Friends of Education reception during American Education Week (Nov. 11-17) to recognize parent volunteers. Many parents were honored, including one volunteer who brings her 100-pound dog, a Goldendoodle named Lily, to school twice a week to give a boost to the kids.

  • Parent volunteers in the Hudson, Wis., school district received a public thank-you when the local newspaper published an article to highlight their many contributions, including mentoring programs, sponsoring student art and music shows, donating food to needy families, and hosting family reading nights. This kind of publicity lets the community know just how much parents are giving back to the schools.

  • The Connecticut State Education Resource Center honored for the first time several parents with a Parent Involvement Recognition Award. One recipient, Claudia Oscasio of Torrington, Conn., was recognized for her work on behalf of the students who are learning English as a second language. As -one of the SERC consultants said of the volunteers, “They’re awesome.’’


If you are thinking of honoring your volunteers, remember that the small things really count. It matters to do something as simple as publicly thanking helpers at your meetings and in your newsletters. This article has some really fun and simple ideas to recognize your crew and give them well-deserved recognition throughout the year.